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Old 03-06-2013, 03:50 PM   #1
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Another Battery Question

I am looking in to new batteries and I am dumb founded by all I need to know. Even after reading many other threads I still have some questions.
Let me start and acknowledge all the information that say, 12V with CCA posted on them do not last. I put in 2 monster 31 series batteries and for a year and a half I could easily go 3 days without dropping to the ĺ indicator light I even felt OK about going 5 days without charging. Now with 2 year old batteries I am having a hard time going a day and a half. I am fairly stingy with power; I grumble if more than one/two lights are on at the same time, I turn off the fridge at night, very little water pump and extremely little heater if ever. I have these batteries hooked up optimally (in one out the other) and I maintain my batteries they just didnít last like I thought/hoped they should.

OK so this is what I have: 55W 3 stage in house charger(WF-8955PEC), an 80W(plus little 7W to maintain) solar panels w/ controller
It seems like everyone agrees that 2 Trojan T105 are a great choice and maybe the T145 are good too.

Here is my dilemma:
I have room for 4 of these Trojan T105. I would like to go 3 days no worries, 5 days if I had to and I want the batteries to last 4 years. Am I asking too much, should I just save for a generator?

Do I need to even think about 4 batteries? The dilemma with this is, if I donít get all 4 at the same time then batteries are not fully matched. Maybe get 2, 6V charge for 3 days and then do a test run for 5 days at the house.(Maybe this would answers a lot)

Will my stock 55W battery charger even be able to charge 4, 6V batteries, correctly? If I am up grading, is it time to upgrade charger as well?
I have an Eveready Warehouse nearby where they have reconditioned batteries. Many 6V in all different sizes, are they worth looking at or should I just stick with the tried and true Trojan T105?

Please tell me what you think
John
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:46 PM   #2
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Wow - great questions. Love the detail. My thoughts are in red below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YoungKopernik View Post

OK so this is what I have: 55W 3 stage in house charger(WF-8955PEC), an 80W(plus little 7W to maintain) solar panels w/ controller
It seems like everyone agrees that 2 Trojan T105 are a great choice and maybe the T145 are good too.

Here is my dilemma:
I have room for 4 of these Trojan T105. I would like to go 3 days no worries, 5 days if I had to and I want the batteries to last 4 years. Am I asking too much, should I just save for a generator? I think a power survey where you add up the estimated or real-life Amp Hours for your situation makes sense. I can tell you that my family of 5 with our T-145s will last 3 days with no worries and 5 if we had to, but our situations are too different to make that a viable comparison (different trailers, people in family, I don't have solar, etc).

Do I need to even think about 4 batteries? The dilemma with this is, if I don’t get all 4 at the same time then batteries are not fully matched. Maybe get 2, 6V charge for 3 days and then do a test run for 5 days at the house.(Maybe this would answers a lot)

It is important to match type, size and age. I do not think a discrepancy of a couple of weeks is a problem, but it will be an issue the longer you go out. Trojan’s batteries take between 50 – 100 cycles to work up to providing full, peak capacity so adding the latter two batteries after 50 or so cycles will cause problems with effectively charging the bank in the future and probably cause the batteries to not last as long.

But, remember that the T-105 weighs in at 62lbs and the T-145s at 72lbs. Four of either is an additional 248-288lbs and, if you have a pull-behind, much of that weight will reflect in a higher tongue weight. This can cause handling issues (you want the tongue to be 10-15% of the loaded trailer weight). Also, this increased TW might eat up more of your truck's payload than you intended. I am not sure what trailer or truck you have, so this might be moot.

Will my stock 55W battery charger even be able to charge 4, 6V batteries, correctly? If I am up grading, is it time to upgrade charger as well?

No, it will struggle. I have the same WFCO 8955PEC and two 6-volts in series @ 260Ah but charge mostly though a portable charger. Here's the reason why (post #5) http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ter-33641.html


I have an Eveready Warehouse nearby where they have reconditioned batteries. Many 6V in all different sizes, are they worth looking at or should I just stick with the tried and true Trojan T105?

Not really familiar with their 6-volt deep cycle batteries. See what they offer for a warranty on the same capacity batteries as the T-105.

Please tell me what you think
John
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:16 PM   #3
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Thanks Triguy
I priced the Progressive Dynamic 4600 55amp model at $215 shipped, sounded like this would protect and do a better job than what I have. Maybe it could have helped the batteries I have last longer. I think I will call PD and ask them if this 4600 can charge four 6V batteries.
As for weight the 2 12V I have now are heavy, maybe 60lbs plus each. So true added weight would be more like 140lbs or less if I decide to put two more. I did think about weight but I have already peeled off the X-Lite sticker off the TT because its not any more
I think I will try two 6V and quickly decide if I need more.
Thanks
John
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:21 PM   #4
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I think you'll like that PD. It's on my list, too.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:10 PM   #5
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you cannot go wrong Progressive dynamics!

Get the charge wizard option.

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Old 03-06-2013, 10:38 PM   #6
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I already have a PD9260 inbound for the new RV that has not even arrived yet. The 9200 series has the Charge Wizard built in.

I went to the PD site, and bought one of their "reconditioned" units for $177. It carries a complete warranty, and if PD reconditions it, I would expect it to perform the same as a new one.

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Old 03-06-2013, 11:36 PM   #7
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I saw the "reconditioned" botton at the PD site but it didn't work. When I call them I will have to ask about it
thanks
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoungKopernik View Post
I saw the "reconditioned" botton at the PD site but it didn't work. When I call them I will have to ask about it
thanks
On the PD site, go to the "About Us" tab at the top, and then on the right side of the page scroll down to the "Service" section and select "Hot Deals"

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Old 03-12-2013, 08:18 PM   #9
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new converter install

I got and installed my new converter/charger from Progressive Dynamics model PD4655(55Amp). This model was a exact replacement for the stock WF-8955PEC. While there was nothing mechanically or electrically wrong with the stock converter this new PD converter is suppose to give a better/higher voltage charge and a better three stage cycle. Plus it has a manual button PD refers to as the Wizard Mode Button that allows a more personal control if desired.
The install only took 45min and some of that was just getting my tools together.
Read through the manual disconnected all power DC and AC.
Took several digital pictures of the old one to help with wire placement if my memory faled
Pulled the old one out, four screws
Swapped the wires for fuse board and Main power wires
Screwed in a new hold down bracket, perfect fit to old screw holes
Pulled new converter from a metal enclosure used in other model swaps and snapped it in place
Only new wire was a small cable assembly for the manual button, very simple plugged in on either side
With the cover back on it looks the same as the original only with a small button and an associated green led
oh ya PD had a sticker to update the old cover to notify any tech of the upgrade, NICE
This has to be my easiest Mod or fix I have ever done, partly because I have some confidence in the Posterís on this web site. While I did do a little research beyond this site I did not go to my usual shops and harass the techs. I only hope it works like the reviews and manual say it will. I plan to quickly install two 6v batteries and after a very short test period maybe another two 6vís if truly needed.
Hope it works like I want, only time will tell
Thanks all
John
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:00 PM   #10
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One thing I noticed that I don't hear mentioned is that solar panel regulators may not be as good as the 3 step regulators and in good sun can hold a battery bank at 14.4 v for along time. Maybe current solar regulators are better, but that may be something to check.

Lots of things can wear out a battery bank prematurely, and you seem to have avoided most of them. Extended periods of no use while plugged into a charger at the float voltage of 13.7 is not good either. It is better to disconnect them entirely and let them rest and charge them periodically to keep them up.

Also it is better to run them down (not below 50%) rather than plug them in every night. Each charge cycle takes a toll on the battery, that includes the solar panels.

Just some ideas.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:16 PM   #11
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I just picked up my solar unit, maybe a year and a half ago and I got the cheap controler. The paper work says it turns the charge on at 13.2V and turns the charge off at 14.3V. I do not watch it with a volt meter but I have seen the LEDs on and off like there working.
No dought that the more variables, the more possible solutions.
John
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:28 PM   #12
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Yeah and it just keeps cycling between those points and that is hard on a battery bank.
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Old 03-13-2013, 04:49 AM   #13
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YoungKopernic, you have an pwm controller which is basically a switch. On at a predetermined voltage, if sun is out, and off at predetermined voltage, battery charged. This system works, but isn't best for your batteries. A mppt type will get you more power from your solar panels and usually a 3 stage charger on the better controllers.

You will reduce the lifespan of a set of deep cycle batteries if you don't use a 3 stage charger. I can't say by how much as there are other factors at work, but it be reduced.

As for cycling the battery, charge & discharge, every cycle wears on the battery components. A little. A true deep cycle battery is built to take it though. Unless you seriously discharge a deep cycle battery, like to 50-60%, you won't notice a reduced lifespan by daily charging with a proper charger.
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:49 PM   #14
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the more I learn, the less I know

I only use my portable solar when I dry-camp for more than two days. But I will keep this this solar charging issue in my mind so as not to over do it.
I do use a 7W solar durring the winter for 4 to 6 weeks at a time, should I not do this and go back to plugging into 120ac every month for three days?
I will be asking these questions before I buy new batteries, I just hope I find someone who has the right answers
John.
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Old 03-14-2013, 04:33 AM   #15
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if you disconnect the batteries completely from the camper, then a 1-2 day charge every month is good. The solar maintainer you have will be OK too if everything else is disconnected but it still should be a mppt controller so it goes into "float" mode if the battery is already charged.

edit- With 7 watt solar maintainer its not worth the $ to upgrade to an mppt controller.


With solar during winter, there isn't a lot of daytime and the sun is low. That means low power production. Your 7w panels may only be producing 50% or less of what they're capable with the low Sun. Subtract the fewer hours of bright sun and your daily AHr will be very low. If your camper is still connected to the batteries, then the parasitic draw will exceed your solar production. This would result in sulfated batteries and lower storage capacity.
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